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South Africans in Germany

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People from 3rd world countries can apply to do volunteer service in Germany. 
There are four types of Voluntary services in Germany, that you can apply for, they are:

    1. Federal Voluntary Service (BFD),
    2. Voluntary Social Year (FSJ),
    3. Voluntary Ecological Year (FÖJ),
    4. European Voluntary Service (EVS)

Before you can apply for a visa, you will need a Contract/Arrangement for your voluntary service in Germany. Also, take note of the following as specified on the Germany Embassy website. 

  • Federal Voluntary Service (BFD): Your contract must be signed by you and the Federal Office of Family Affairs and Civil Society Functions (BAFzA), as well as the placement department, headquarters and, where applicable, by the institution implementing the voluntary service.
  • Voluntary Social Year (FSJ)/Voluntary Ecological Year (FOJ): Your contract must be signed by you and the respective institution, as well as, where applicable, the placement department.
  • European Voluntary Service (EVS): Your contract must be signed by the National Agency for Erasmus+ Youth in Action and the coordinating organisation. The Volunteer Arrangement in which the tasks and planned participant achievements are described must be signed by the coordinating organisation and the volunteer.

Where to find a voluntary service

Here is a list of websites where you can search for a voluntary service

Additional information

Things to keep in mind

  • The volunteer period can be between 6 and 24 months, but most are no longer than 18 months.
  • For the FSJ and FÖJ, you must be between the age of 16 and 27
  • Accommodation, meals and an allowance are normally included in an FSJ and FÖJ. 
  • You can still volunteer if you are over the age of 27 Years. You need to then apply for a  BFD. This is more complicated to obtain from outside Germany than the FSJ and FÖJ. Typical placings can be at Schools, Churches and Kindergartens. Special rules about hours may apply.
  •  Some institutions may require German language proficiency and/or some skill level
  •  Make sure you know what is included in your contract, and make sure you have it in writing

Why do volunteering?

Volunteering offers you a chance to make a social or ecological difference.  Here are some additional perks

  • You can meet new people in a new environment.
  • You will learn more about the language and culture
  • You will gain experience in  different competencies 
  • You will gain references
  • You will enhance your social skills
  • Learn more about social welfare or ecological responsibilities 
  • You can learn more about a career if you are interested in social careers like teaching or nursing

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